Healthy Living Magazine


Cockroaches, dust mites, dander and mold can trigger cold and flu-like symptoms. As cold temperatures and unusually snowy conditions continue to keep us indoors, prolonged exposure to four powerful indoor allergens can cause a variety of symptoms. If you experience continuous congestion, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes and nasal drip, there is a good chance that you are reacting to the presence of either dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander or mold somewhere in your home.

Ways to Control Symptoms

  • Mold Inspection
    The most common places to find mold in the home are on shower curtains, wallpaper, carpets and the sink. Mold also grows in the drain, which can be cleaned with bleach and detergent.
  • Cockroach Hunt
    Cockroaches do not have to be alive to trigger respiratory problems. Dust containing molecules of dried cockroaches can still cause symptoms. Professionals should be consulted to discover and clean nesting areas.
  • Dry Up Dust Mites
    Keep your indoor humidity at 50% or lower. High humidity will breed dust mites.
  • Filter Out Animal Dander
    Vacuum often and consider purchasing an air purifier for each room to help prevent airborne dander from spreading throughout the house. Mice or other fur-bearing animals living under the house or in the attic must be searched for and removed.
  • Start an Immune Building Diet
    Eliminate foods that are weakening your immune system, like packaged and processed foods, and start eating immune boosting allergy fighting foods like blackberries and blueberries.
  • Get Sufficient Sleep
    Our immune system is very 'sleep driven', and allergies are precipitated by weakened immunity.
  • Stay Hydrated
    Dehydration causes dry nasal mucosa, making it easier for allergens to enter your bloodstream.
  • Use the 'Hot' Setting
    Wash your bedding in hot water to properly neutralize allergens.
  • Wash Your Face and Hands
    If there is dander, mold or dust on your face or hands, chances are you will end up inhaling it.  

Dr. Joan Lehach, MD

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